Woke up early to start the trip to Raglan. I got a bit of motion sickness, but nothing as bad as yesterday.
But as soon as we got to Raglan, things got better.
I felt like I had come home. I saw the Natural Health and Herbal Dispensary store and I knew it was over for me. I had found my spot in New Zealand.
It was an overwhelming sense of belonging, even though I had just gotten to the place and had never been there before.
There’s an energy about it, and I’m not the only one that feels it.
People are known to come in to Raglan planning to stay for a couple of nights, and ending up staying a week, a month, or even longer.
It’s the type of place where time doesn’t exist. A place where you can be yourself. No pretenses. No worries. Everything is so simple.
Even the people who are working seem to be completely at ease, happy with their relaxed pace of life in this little corner of the world.
At the same time, Raglan has a lot of character. It’s very bohemian, full of artists and alternative health practitioners. It also has a great coffee shop culture, where people get together to enjoy a cup of coffee and play some hacky-sack.
Total hippie town, the way I like it.
Plus, it’s renowned as the best left-hand surf break in the world. And if you go to Manu Bay, there’s not a rock in sight. It’s the perfect place to learn how to surf: the waves are even, and it’s very hard to get hurt.
Surfing is another one of those things that I always longed to learn, but didn’t think was “me.”
Surfing is something that sexy, toned, tanned people do. People who look good in a bikini or trunks. People without jiggle. People with strong arms that can paddle and get on top of a wave.
I never considered myself among that gifted set of people.
But, as you know, I’ve turned a corner. I’ve decided to stop defining myself in ways that limit me. And to stop telling myself what is and isn’t “me,” and instead let myself be who I am in the moment.
So I took a surfing class, and learned how to surf.
Boy, it was fun! And once you stand on that board, you just want to keep going back to that place where, in riding the wave, you somehow connect to the ocean and Mother Nature.
I’m definitely coming back to this place, no matter how far it is from New York. Whatever else the experience entails, I’m grateful that being on the Stray bus brought me here.